Thursday, August 7, 2008

Home remedy--Swimmers Ear

Since I have a case of swimmers ear this week I thought I would add this helpful home remedy on here today.

What is swimmers ear?  If your ear aches and you pull on it, wiggle it or push on that little bump (called the tragus) in front of the ear canal and it really hurts, you don't have just any old earache. You have swimmer's ear, an inflammation of the external ear canal (known in medical circles as otitis externa).

Swimmer's ear usually occurs after water gets trapped in the ear following a swim, shower or even a shampoo. The damp, dark environment is ideal for bacterial and fungal growth.

At first your ear may feel blocked or itchy. At that point home remedies can help. Untreated, the ear canal will swell and possibly even shut. A milky or yellowish liquid may drain out, and it will hurt to touch your ear. At that point, you need medical treatment.

Whip up some eardrops. Combine equal amounts of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar in a clean, empty eyedropper bottle.  You can find eyedropper bottles at the drugstore; just ask the pharmacist.

If you're sure that your eardrum has never been perforated (say, from an accident or previous ear infection), apply a few drops to each ear. If it's just a mild infection, you may need no further treatment.

This home remedy works because the alcohol kills the bacteria and evaporates the water; the vinegar changes the pH of the external ear, making it less hospitable to bacteria and fungi, the "germs" that cause swimmer's ear.

To prevent future problems or if you have chronic swimmer's ear, try using the drops each time you swim or take a shower.

Try peroxide. Place a few drops of drugstore-variety peroxide in the ear. Its antibacterial action can quell minor cases of swimmer's ear.

I woke up yesterday morning with that pain.  I knew what it wasbecause Rylie had swimmers ear a few weeks ago.  I took her to the doctor and he gave us a prescription for ear drops.  That teeny tiny bottle (probably less than half an ounce) cost $120.  I don't mind spending that kind of money to keep my child healthy, but I'm not about to spend that kind of money on myself.

The ladies at the pool told me about the alcohol and vinegar remedy.  I tried it yesterday (even though my ear was perferated years ago) and today it feels much better.  I'll probably do another dose today just to be sure it's cleared up.

Here's a picture of Rylie with her cousin, Tyler, at the pool.

Can you tell she just loves the water?  She has been having so much fun this summer.  Her swimming skills are really improving.  She'll swim about 3 or 4 feet.  Although if we go down to the deep end, where she likes to jump, she can swim a lot farther.  Of course, it involves me backing up and saying "you can do it, come on you're almost here". 

I once got her to swim half-way across the pool doing that.  Now she stands at the side and say's "don't go far away!"  She loves the social interaction too.  There are usually so many kids down there for her to play with.

I keep sunscreen on her, but she is tanning right through it.  It is sweat and water proof stuff too.  And her's practically white these days. 

I wish we lived somewhere warm all year round.  Sigh...I'm really going to miss having this much fun with her when the weather turns cold.  Well, that and sitting in the sun, lol.

Have a wonderful day.
Jill Marie

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